For those from the Pittsburgh and surrounding areas, who are looking for a fun, safe, place to take the little ones, look no further! Of course there is the famous Pittsburgh Zoo, various museums, The Carnegie Science Center, and other historic landmarks. There are also your commercialized family fun places like Chuck E. Cheese. There is, however, no place like Giggles and Smiles in the Mall of Robinson, right above Robinson Town Center.
Many times, visiting some of the famous Pittsburgh landmarks can be more of a challenge for mom and dad, rather than fun for the whole family. The chances are, if you go to the zoo on that perfect lovely day, thousands of others have already entered through the doors and are waiting in line to see the animals. You find yourself sweating and fighting off a crowd just to let your little one(s) get a sneak peek of the lions and tigers. The same holds true for places such as Chuck E. Cheese. If you try to walk through the door on a Saturday or Sunday, you suddenly find yourself struggling just to get to the nearest table. Even though Chuck E. Cheese is a secured facility, it is very easy to lose a child in the swarm of hundreds of other screaming children. Giggles and Smiles however, will not only bring a smile to your child’s face, but it also will be quite a relaxing experience for the parents, as well as a safe one.
Giggles and Smiles is a play area located on the top floor at the Mall of Robinson. It is pretty well hidden in the back corner by Macy’s. In a nutshell, it is a huge play area that is somewhat like a mixture of a large daycare center and a Chuck E. Cheese, without the video games. Everything inside this facility is padded and 100% safe for children 3 and older. There is only one way in and one way out of this facility. In order to unlock that entrance and gate, an employee must press a secure code behind the front counter. There is also a private room for birthday parties, and several bathrooms. There are attractions such as mini ride on roller coasters, gym activities, rock climbing walls, ball pits, hot jumping balloons, and a huge padded play area with obstacles, slides, and other age appropriate activities.
Along with the play areas for the children, there are also some rules that Giggles and Smiles enforce. All persons entering the areas must sanitize their hands (which makes it a bit more comforting to those worried about the H1N1 virus). There is also a ratio of 10 children allowed per staff member. During the weekdays, for example, if there is only one person working, only ten children are allowed in the facility. This makes it easy to keep an eye on the children, especially with the several video monitors surrounding the whole facility.
Last but not least, parents have the option of leaving their children there with staff (who are certified day care attendants), for up to three hours while they shop in the mall. Parents are given a pager in case the staff needs to contact them. There is a fee for care. The more children a family has, the bigger the discount will be. In most cases, it will cost around $6 per child, per hour. The children are happy, they are 100% safe, and mom and dad will have the opportunity to do a little bit of shopping on their own, or even enjoy a nice dinner together.
Whether you are looking for a place to throw a party, a place to get a bit of alone time for yourself, while you shop, or just a place to take the children out to, Giggles and Smiles is the perfect place for the whole family. With the holidays approaching, this is just one more thing parents can bank on to help make their shopping experiences much more peaceful and also much more entertaining for the children!